>Although this doesn't really have anything to do with Nikon >vs. 3rd party repair, you could argue that these kinds of >"customer service situations" partly are Nikon's >fault. They market their equipment as being sealed, and >moisture resistant, and weatherproof, but never give any >actual definitions of what those terms mean.
Well you are right. This has absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand. With regards to different definitions you have stated, I do not recall Nikon ever using the term "weatherproof" except for the old Nikonos system.
>How much rain >can the lens withstand? One inch per hour? Three inches per >hour?
Ummm....even if they had such measurement, could tell that it is actually raining at a rate of two inches per hour as oppose tothe one inch per hour while out shooting? Should they label in terms of microns the size of the sand that the camera can withstand? Could you measure if you were out anyway? How would you prove to Nikon it was only raining at the rated 1 inch per hour as oppose to 2 inches per hour when your equipment fried? I have seen it rain an inch in a matter of minutes so this type of deludge of water would screw up the 1 inch per hour measurement. Catch my drift on this?
>If they were serious about weather sealing, they would test >their equipment and give them industry-standard IPX ratings so >people would know exactly what and how much the equipment can >handle.
With shooting Nikon for over 30 years, I have never worried about such things. If it starts to rain, I will cover up the lens and camera. That is why you will find garbage bags in my camera bag. There are many people out there who will sell protective covers. You only talk about rain but what about blowing fine sand that you don't even see? Whether sand or rain, it is best to err on the side of caution and if you decide to shoot in a heavy rainfall (which would be nuts) because the shot is that important, it better be more valuable then you equipment.
>This would help customers know in which situations >added protection is needed and in which situations the >built-in resistance of the equipment is sufficient. >Personally, I have long wished they would do this.
Using a little common sense would help customers more in shooting under adverse conditions. Nikon could probably come out with a true weather sealed system. Laptop manufacturers do but then again, would you be willing to pay for such a system? I suspect there would be very little demand for such weather sealing because of the premium one would pay for it.